Lighting up lowers resale value of homes

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Eighty-eight per cent of realtors say it is harder to sell smokers’ homes

Glen Korstrom
Van. Courier

Homeowners who smoke may be paying more for their fix than they realize.

Smoking in the home can reduce the resale value of properties by as much as 29 per cent, according to a study released April 16 and sponsored by Pfizer Canada, which makes products to help people quit smoking.

The study focused on Ontario, but Vancouver realtors say attitudes toward homes where there has been smoking are the same in this province.

“Your smell is your strongest emotional sense,” said Royal LePage City Centre realtor Blair Smith. “Even if you can’t identify what the odour is, if there’s objectionable odour, it reacts to the core.”

He said that earlier in the day he spoke with a client who was coming from Regina to look at one of his listings.

“She said, ‘Before I book the ticket, I wanted to ask if there were smokers or pets in the home,'” Smith said.

“So for her, it wasn’t just a matter of whether it would lower the value of the home. She didn’t want to buy the home if there were smokers or pets.”

The Pfizer survey estimated that 15 per cent of homes have at least one regular smoker.

The survey included interviews with 401 realtors, of whom 88 per cent said it is more difficult to sell a home where owners have smoked. More than half of respondents (56 per cent) said most buyers are less likely to buy a home where people have smoked, and 27 per cent went further and said most buyers are actually unwilling to buy a home where people have smoked.

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